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Minutes of March, 2001 Meeting


Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

Minutes of March 22, 2001 Meeting

Village of Oak Creek Community Center


1.    Call to Order: by President Carolyn Fisher at 9:00 a.m. followed by the Pledge to the Flag. A quorum of twelve member Associations represented. The agenda was finalized.


2.    Secretary’s Report: Joan McClelland asked that under P&Z the sentence “IMS had been shut down as an illegal operation” be struck from the minutes. Carol Agers noted the number of Member Associations should be sixteen rather than seventeen. The withdrawal of one Association was announced later in the meeting. A motion was made to accept the minutes as corrected. Motion carried.


3.    Correspondence: Lorraine Dean has agreed to take over as Corresponding Secretary from Joan McClelland. Carolyn thanked Joan for her years of good work.


4.    Treasurer’s Report: Bob Carlile announced that all sixteen members have now paid their dues. March income was $770. March expense was $6.20. Year-to-date Income is $1672. Year-to-date expense is $261.41. Cash balance at March 31, 2001 is $2,296.58. The major upcoming expense will be the directors and officers insurance in the amount of $1,000.00, which will come due in the middle of June. It was moved and seconded to approve the Treasurer’s Report.


5.    Committee Reports:

A.      Transportation:

1.  Dennis Parker reported that the committee had received a response to a letter sent to ADOT, Don Dorman, asking him for specific information on Highway 179. In his response, Mr. Dorman noted that he was going to insist on a road surface that incorporates rubber to help with noise. Lighting will be shielded, the median cuts will be a part of the design of the road and they will have landscaping. There will be construction of sidewalks in The Village and pedestrian and multi—motor traffic will be provided for and safety will be the first consideration. There are a few issues still to be worked on. At present Mr. Dorman is saying speed limits will remain at the present level however they are doing a study. They have not made a final determination on sound barrier walls or if there will be any change in traffic lights or median cuts. The Committee proposes to send a letter to Mr. Dorman, thanking him for his prompt response and express that the Council, business community and transportation committee are working together and wish to work in a cooperative manner. At the point when more information is available, the information will be given to the representatives to communicate with the homeowners.


2.  Right hand turn at Tequa: This turn at the shopping plaza in front of the Hilton has three right turn accesses. Although the arrows show that autos should turn right at each access, autos get into the right hand turn lane and they continue in that lane to Ridge Trail. There is high potential for an accident. The committee wishes to write a letter to Mr. Dorman at ADOT communicating that prior to any Highway 179 construction, something needs to be done to mitigate this dangerous situation. A motion was made, seconded and carried to send a letter to ADOT requesting delineation of the right hand turn area at Tequa.


3.  There is a residential concern in the Jacks Canyon area with the natural gas construction. It is the only source of egress on the East side of town and the committee is requesting the Council write a letter to the county asking for temporary access through Pebble Dr. They wish to open the gate and allow people to go through Pebble Dr. on a temporary basis during the natural gas line construction. It was noted by Zona Fink that gas line construction is underway on Pinon Woods Dr. also. Lorraine Dean noted that near the gate there is a six-feet in diameter and six-feet deep hole that will remain until the gas line is completed and pressure checks are made. She also noted that construction company trucks are going in and out of the gate and that it is a very congested area right now. From the audience Dick Byrnes noted that gas line construction near the intersection of Lee Mountain Road and Concho has the possibility of blocking traffic from this side of The Village. A water main was broken by the contractor, which blocked traffic and forced people back into their homes to wait out the emergency. A second situation occurred when the construction crews converged and shut down that same intersection. He said he called the county and their response was that the Big Park Regional Council must petition the Board of Supervisors. He asked the county if they had an emergency plan to open the gate if an emergency occurred. Mr. Byrnes said they had no emergency plan. He strongly suggested the Council petition the county to open the gate and an emergency plan put into place. Carolyn requested the Transportation Committee look at whether/how we want to petition the county for some kind of an emergency plan. This is a long-term issue. In terms of the short-term Carolyn asked for any indication of how much longer they are going to be working on the Pinon Woods Dr. because opening the Pebble gate to clear traffic on Jacks Canyon while Pinon Woods has the same problems would only frustrate people who detour and find the situation as bad or worse. Lorraine Dean noted that the construction is expected to continue on Pinon at least another month. Bob Carlile noted that the construction crew is turning the corner on Pioneer and are now off Jacks Canyon. A motion was made and seconded that we write a letter to the county to allow temporary access from 179 to Pebble Drive during natural gas construction. During discussion Lorraine noted that the fire department frequently brings a truck up Pinon to check their ability to pass through the construction and they also routinely check the gate. Joanne Johnson noted that Tom Broderick from~ Citizens Gas has encouraged people to call him with problems. The question was moved: ayes 4, opposed 8, 1 abstention. Motion failed. Since calling the quorum, one more representative had arrived.


B.      Planning and Zoning:

1.  Cathedral Rock Ranch update. The county is asking the Council to comment on a zoning change from R1-12, Rl-L12, R1L-17 to R1L-35 on the proposed subdivision on Verde Valley School Road North of Highland Estates. The board approved this development in May of 2000 and approved the final plat plan in January 2001. The zoning change will now come before the P&Z and Supervisors in April. Council P&Z committee recommends the Council comment to the county that they are in favor of this zoning change. It was moved and seconded that the Council comment to the county that they are in favor of the zoning change. Motion passed unanimously.

2.  JMS Excavating and Grading: A special use permit was requested by JMS to store heavy equipment and material on Mr. Doug West’s property on Hudson Drive in the Village. The JMS request had been discussed by the Council in April, and a letter objecting to the special use permit sent to the county. The use permit was brought before the P&Z Commissioners on March 7, 2001 and a permit was granted for one year, but referred to the Board of Supervisors because the Big Park Community Plan would have to be amended to allow the permit because it is a zoning change. The Board of Supervisors voted March 18 to deny the permit, but to allow JMS six months to remove the storage material.

3.  Arteri Art Gallery sign at Bell Rock Plaza update: Your committee was represented at the County Board of Adjustments meeting on March 15 at Cottonwood. After much discussion the Board of Adjustments rejected the gallery owner’s request for a sign variance from the 32 square feet allowed by county ordinance to more than double the size at 66 square feet.

4.  Yavapai zoning ordinance amendment HA No. 7055. On June 19, 2000 the Board of Supervisors voted to amend the ordinance by adding the following language: “The rental, lease or sale of a dwelling unit on a daily or weekly basis, or on any other basis for less than 30 consecutive days. . They also amended the original ordinance by adding the following: “a dwelling unit does not include lodging as defined in the ordinance except an owner occupied dwelling unit may be rented on daily or weekly increment basis less than 12 times a year or one 12 month period”. The county is now considering further amendments to that ordinance. Issue No. 1: They are addressing the grandfathering issue by saying if the non­conforming unit is not used, and they are considering either 30, 60 or 90 days, the unit(s) must conform with the 30 day rental. Your committee is asking the Council to support the 30-day time limit. Audience discussion followed and Doug Ayers distributed a written statement of his verbal statement. Joanne Johnson presented a motion that the Council support the 30-day time frame in their consideration of non-conforming use. The motion was seconded and passed with 1 vote opposed. Issue No. 2: The county is also considering another amendment to the ordinance that defines a dwelling unit as does not include lodging as defined in the ordinance except an owner occupied dwelling unit may be rented on a daily or weekly increment less than 12 times a year or one 12 month period. Your committee is asking the Council to support the removal of this language from the ordinance. The committee felt this language was weakening the ordinance, and it is almost unenforceable. A motion was made to strike this language from the county ordinance. Motion seconded. Discussion followed regarding the enforceability and the necessity, but not necessarily the compliance of identifying a rental unit with the county in respect to taxes and conformance to such laws as fire codes, etc. Pat Newly of Canyon Mesa presented a written record of Canyon Mesa’s payment of taxes. Joan McClelland expressed that we should support our member organization, the business community, in supporting this ordinance revision. A director from Canyon Mesa stated that Canyon Mesa was a “resort” location and rentals are no less than 1 week. Carol Agers summarized that the zoning on Canyon Mesa is Planned Area Development, which by county definition a PAD is a residential area. The very fact that Coldwell Banker has an organization for rentals of 60 or 70 units or even if it were 5 units, that is not the purpose of the zoning on that property. It is very important for all the residences of Big Park to appreciate that we have to defend the integrity of our zoning. Ruth Kane stated from the audience that if everyone in Big Park did what they are doing in Canyon Mesa you would ultimately have a community that is more transient than permanent. Mr. Averill, rep. from Canyon Mesa, addressed a document he had received from Mr. Ayes and noted that in his opinion all the information was not detailed. Mr. Avenul asked why a year ago Issue No. 2 had been incorporated in the Ordinance. Joan McClelland stated that realty interests were responsible for the addition a year ago. Mr. Averill asked if the representatives have had discussions regarding this issue within their homeowner’s associations and been given any direction. A show of hands was taken from the representatives that determined that 10 member organizations had. received direction from their homeowner’ s associations. There was a call for the question with 1 opposed, 2 abstentions, 10 ayes. Motion passed.


C.      Recreation: Dorothy Hores said that the committee was trying to work with Camp Verde to start having skateboarding activities. For the record Dorothy said that V.P.R.I. is in an interim inactive status because they were unable to get support for a site identifiable for a park or for recreation in our community. Therefore the Committee is working in corporation with other communities to see what they can provide. She announced that the Hilton Sedona Resort swimming pool will again be available to the community on a continuing basis on Sunday afternoons beginning April 8 from 2 to 6 p.m. for family swimming. She will circulate a list for volunteers because the Hilton wants assurance that only residents of The Village are swimming. The volunteers are to obtain signatures from swimmers. Each volunteer would need to spend 1 or 2 hours only per Sunday. In the meantime, the committee is looking for insurance, but financial sources are non-existent. Dorothy thanked Lorraine Dean for her contribution last month and certainly would welcome any other contributions to help pay for the monthly calendar, with two more issues to go out. The committee can likely find a van, but insurance is the issue to transport kids. The committee would like to take the kids one Saturday a month to Camp Verde for skateboarding with parents or volunteer chaperones. The committee is also working with the Boys and Girls Club who may make available a van if the activities are also open to the club members. Another option would be to pay membership for kids who do not belong to Boys and Girls Club, a cheaper alternative to insurance, as the club insurance would be in effect. The committee is working diligently on this issue. The committee has set a date of June 23, which is still tentative. This would be a day-long family excursion with swimming, skateboarding and picnics. Carolyn Fisher asked that perhaps the Village Business Association could help with this project. Dorothy Hores said that the previous offer from Bell Rock Plaza to use their parking lot after hours for skateboarding had not worked out because of the character of the parking lot surface, which is why the kids have been using the outlet and other business areas.


D.      e-Communications: Bob Carlile reported that the agenda and minutes are now at the website. By the end of the year, the minutes for the entire year will be at the website, with 12 months on-line at all times. The agenda will be found about two weeks prior to the actual meeting. The hits will be counted to judge use. This information is located at the County website. Bob stated that at the website there is a list of subjects on which you can click and one of them is “public meetings”. When you click on that you will get a page where you will see “Big Park Regional Coordinating Council”. Click on that and you will be able to go the agenda and the minutes. As we are up and running, Bob sees no reason for the e-communications ad-hoc committee to continue and Bob proposed to the President that we terminate this committee. Carolyn thanked the committee for their work, for their work with the county and Supervisor Davis’ support. Depending on the amount of hits, we may at some time in the future re-visit building our own website.


6.    Old Business: Dorothy Hores presented and exert from last week’s meeting regarding the Proposed Open Space Plan for the Verde Valley. According to Growing Smarter, a regional plan where there are common interests to pursue can be done. She stated this is a very brief summary and the first time this has happened in the Verde Valley. She recalls a few years ago some principles were passed that were developed by a similar group of citizens, planning and zoning committee members and planners, which identified some important principles to adhere to arid believed in. It was unanimously accepted in the Verde Valley. This group of planners has taken two of those principles, the first of which is to maintain open space between communities and along highway corridors. The second one states that there should be distinction between communities, an edge to each community, and to support development within those rather than developing into urban sprawl. Their recommendations very briefly covered the highway corridors, the Verde River, he Black Hills, the Red Cliff Area, Beaver Creek and Sycamore Riparian Areas. It will take money to do this as these are all private lands and state lands. They are encouraging the support of a foundation of a land trust within the Verde Valley. Another option would be sales tax revenue specifically dedicated to open space including unincorporated areas. Bonding, grants, conservation easements are other ways of acquiring money. They are also concerned about forestlands and buffers between development on one side of a road and forestland on the other. A third priority is to protect the wilderness character of the US Forest lands adjacent to private lands. At this point there is no definition of the use for open space and Highway 179 is not included as one of the highway corridors probably because it is mostly Forest Service land. Dorothy requested that when we have a full discussion of this plan at our meeting, that the appropriate county employees attend the meeting. Dorothy wished to read the last sentence on the exert which read “If every private parcel is developed as zoned today, the estimated population would reach 200,000.”


7.    New Business:

A.      Sheriff ”Buck” Buchanan introduced the VIP’s in the audience, Sharon, Public Information Officer and Lt. John Russell. John has been with the sheriff’s office for a number of years and presently he is in charge of Eastern Operations, which includes District 3 and is stationed in the Verde Valley. Sheriff Buchanan spoke to the Council and audience regarding policing issues in our county including growth as the fastest growing rural county in the United States. He distributed charts and spoke to the issues of continued improving of the level of services and innovative programs. He stated that the average response call for all calls in District 3 is about 18 minutes. A “hurry up” call will be responded to a lot quicker. The level of response is because of the VIP’s. At this point it is anticipated that the size of the VIPs will be increased with another VIP academy hopefully within about 60 days. The program has received local, state and national recognition, including inquiries from other countries. Referring to his pie chart, he noted that the Verde Valley represents 27% of the total calls they had throughout the sheriff’s office. Of that VOC represented 4% of the total volume of calls. The main VOC issue at present is skateboarders with nowhere to skate and the usage of shopping center lots and liability. Lastly, he spoke on school violence noting that where incidents had occurred, nationwide in 3 out of 4 incidents of school violence, another student knew about it in advance. In half those situations a parent knew about it and they didn’t tell anyone. He urged people to take threats seriously and that the sheriff’s office is never too busy to check those situations.


8.    Announcements:

Supervisor Davis will be holding his meeting in April so our meeting will be abbreviated. If anybody has anything to address they should contact either the County offices or Carolyn.


Future agendas, on the website, will identify who to contact regarding the times and places of committee meetings.


9. Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.



Respectfully submitted,



Zona Fink


The next meeting will be May 24, 2001 at 9:00 a.m.

In the VOCA Community Center



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